Coursera is a platform that offers college-level classes to members for no charge (certificate earning courses non-withstanding). While they have a vast array of courses available in different subjects, languages, and professions, they do have quite a library of classes that are all about learning to code. You can create a free account with them, pick out classes based on start dates, and go forth at your own pace. For those who are looking to learn at their own pace and on their own time, Coursera is a great option and has classes that are open almost constantly.
Github is like a reference book for coders. Indeed, it is a near hive-mind of books referencing programming as well as an incredible amount of posts from users — displaying their own programming endeavours, along with lessons and questions. In fact, if you are a professional programmer, many industry professionals will recommend making a Github profile to show off some of your own work. Users are free to browse it at their leisure and interact with the dedicated community, post questions, and learn as they go. It is a well-rounded and invaluable resource when it comes to learning to code.
Udemy is an online learning platform that was setup originally for professionals looking to learn or improve their job skills. While some courses do indeed have to be paid for, they also offer plenty of free programming lessons via videos. Udemy is directed towards learning to code in a business environment, but it does have courses that are well designed and the videos are simple to follow along with. For those who are looking to go into business for themselves or are seeking a way to improve their job skills, Udemy is a great platform and always has lots in the way of choices.
MIT, aka the school for tech geniuses, actually offers free versions of its courses online for those looking to learn. Again, like Coursera, they come in a multitude of different areas of study and topics, but seeing as it is MIT, the focus on technology and coding is quite strong. All of the courses come with lecture notes, videos, and plenty of extra resources so that those looking to learn can get the gist of everything going on. They even have homework to help those who prefer to learn in the more traditional school style. Naturally, the quality is top notch.
edX is, funnily enough, a platform developed by Harvard University and MIT as of 2012 – talk about quality! In fact, the Introduction to Computer Science course from Harvard University that is available is one that new coders should not miss. With just two starting schools in 2012, EdX now includes sixty-plus schools and offers cutting-edge courses on technology. Once again, for those who enjoy a more traditional schooling sense, edX is something to look into.
7. Khan Academy
One of the originals in online-learning offerings, Khan Academy focuses heavily on technology, math, and computer science – all for free! The lessons come in the way of step-by-step tutorial videos and have been proven highly effective with the million-or-so users that visit Khan Academy regularly. Like the other sites, you have your choice of programming languages, but the platform itself is exceptionally open and easy to navigate.
All of this is starting to sound a bit too much like work, isn’t it? How about a site that teaches you to code for free with a more fun and personable approach? New Zealand-based company Code Avengers is all about interactivity, as it aims to teach users how to code games, apps, and websites with various languages. The time sink for each course is about twelve hours and they are available in multiple languages. Even if twelve hours sounds like a lot, compare it to a four-year school and then factor in the cost — yeah, exactly.
If you want to have fun AND do something good for humanity (not counting just yourself), then Free Code Camp is for you. The community of professionals and students work together on helping hone their coding skills to the goal of building apps for free. Where does the feel-good altruism come in? Your code is available to nonprofits. How is that for an incentive?
Interestingly enough, this site is a community of developers who are dedicated to helping those who want to learn how to code. What’s even more interesting is that the teachers are some of the most high profile coders in the world, such as Bram Cohen — the inventor of BitTorrent. Where better to learn than from the masters?
No matter which site you select, they all offer the experience and knowledge for those interested in learning to learn how to code at no cost. If you’ve been making any excuses, they’ve just gone out the window. Get coding and have fun with it!